Over 1,000 advertising sector workers attended a rally on Monday to kickstart a five-day sector-wide strike.
The workers gathered at Chater Garden in Central at noon. It came after almost six months of large scale protests in Hong Kong.
Yiu Koon-tung, a spokesperson for the Advertising Civilian group who organised the rally, said the government had yet to respond to the protesters’ demands, including the unconditional release of arrested protesters, an independent investigation into police behaviour, and universal suffrage.
“The advertising sector is very important now,” he said. “We are not getting paid to spread Hong Kong people’s ideals of freedom and democracy to the whole world.”
“Compared to the blood and sweat of frontline protesters since June – what are these five days to us? If we advertising people don’t do anything, how can we face protesters who have died?” he added.
Abaddon, a man behind large-scale banners promoting the movement around the city, said advertising sector workers should not underestimate their individual power.
“If we all change ourselves, we will have strength. Go on strike for all five days – don’t go to this rally and go back to work tomorrow. We have to do something to leave our comfort zone to make change,” he said.
Budming, a veteran in the advertisement sector, said she tried in 2014 to find friends in the industry to help promote the Umbrella movement, but only one in ten people agreed to help. In contrast, many working in the industry have stepped up during the recent protests.
“Don’t stop trying because nothing is possible. Believe everything is possible, and try everything,” she said.
The rally organisers also invited Mak Tak-ching, the Labour Party’s vice-chairman, to speak about how to organise unions and go on strike, as well as the legal risks.
He said the advertisement sector’s strike will spark other strikes across other sectors: “Your rally is the first step to everything.”
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